Deadline Day Deals Done

The last couple of hours of transfer deadline day threw up a couple of surprises for Pompey fans who will have been disappointed with their club's activity (or lack of) in January overall.

The news of Milan Lalkovic's contract being cancelled by mutual consent was hardly surprising. The Slovakian winger has struggled with injuries ever since he signed for Pompey and only has the one goal to his name. He was a good guy and will be wished well for the future, but in all honesty he was hardly going to be missed.

The big bombshell came at around 10:20pm this evening as the official Portsmouth FC Twitter account announced that Kyle Bennett's contract had also been cancelled by mutual consent, much to the shock of most Pompey fans.

On the face of it, this seems like an extremely poor decision. Whilst Kyle has been disappointing this season, he had only signed a new deal last summer and had two-and-a-half-years remaining on it. Even if Kenny Jackett didn't rate him, surely a club would have paid a transfer fee for him in the summer. It wasn't that long ago that Championship clubs were interested in signing him, after all.

Instead, Pompey would have forked out a fair sum to cancel his contract and it now seems like Bennett will be heading to Bristol Rovers for free. Meanwhile, the only incoming player is a familiar face but one who isn't really needed at Fratton Park.

There can be no doubt that Stephen Henderson is a quality goalkeeper but Luke McGee is having a good season and is now likely to find himself on the bench, severely limiting his playing time and therefore his development.

Of course, just like all of Pompey's other incoming players this season, the Henderson deal is a loan from Nottingham Forest and so he'll be gone in the summer anyway. In the meantime, Pompey's midfield still looks desperately short of numbers and quality.

It's a sour way to end what has been a poor month for Portsmouth. The owners are going to face criticism for refusing to invest in the squad for a promotion push and unless they have an ace up their sleeve and Jackett can bring in a free agent or two or even just sign a loan player permanently, then Pompey fans can surely kiss the promotion challenge goodbye.

And many will argue that this is what the people at Tornante wanted all along...